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Comprimato’s live framerate conversion as a service

Global broadcasting and streaming brings up the challenge of framerate conversion. North America, Japan and a few other places have 60 Hz systems (and often 59.94 just to add to the confusion) where the rest of the world is at 50 Hz. Premium content – and especially sports – demands pristine image quality.

Traditionally there was a choice when it came to framerate conversion. There are low-cost solutions, and software packages if you are not worried about realtime conversion. But the results tend to be jerky, blurry, ghosted and generally poor quality.

Motion compensated framerate conversion is crucial for sports broadcasting

Sport is really challenging for framerate conversion. There is a lot of action, the camera tends to move quickly, and for many sports the focus of attention is on a ball moving rapidly through the field of vision. Lose the ball and you can give up on the whole broadcast.

The solution lies in motion compensated framerate conversion. This analyses the movement in the sequence, and determines where each moving object should be at the precise time point at which the new frame needs to be synthesised.

This calls for a lot of processing: all the motion must be estimated, then the new positions calculated for the new frame. In sport, where objects and athletes are moving in different directions, and crossing paths, all while the camera is moving, that is a lot of calculation.

Replacing costly hardware with a smart SaaS solution

As always, you get what you pay for, but in framerate conversion, broadcast quality came at the cost of $100k+ hardware boxes. Given that broadcast engineers will always want a main and backup for resilience, that is close to a quarter of a million dollars.

The good news is that Comprimato has a software solution which provides excellent motion compensated realtime framerate conversion. The software solution runs on standard hardware and can be spun up in the cloud.

That means we can offer it as software-as-a-service (SaaS). In essence, you tell us you want live high quality framerate conversion, and we give you SRT input and output addresses. We charge for the time we are processing your signals. Instead of a capital expenditure close to a quarter of a million, your bill will be in hundreds of dollars.

All-in-one solution for global live production

But there is more, in terms of cost savings, convenience and quality. The chances are that you will be sending the content around the world as an IP stream, using a format like MPEG or JPEG-XS. You will probably need to transcode along the way.

The SaaS solution wraps encoding and transcoding along with framerate conversion. Setting up a delivery path simply means defining the input and output parameters. All the processing happens in the cloud, as a single transaction. You can set up signal and processing paths quickly and easily, so you really do only have to pay for the service when it is on air.

The final important point is that Comprimato has built its reputation on providing the highest video quality with minimal latency. Adding framerate conversion into the processing does not change that goal. Image quality will be maintained.

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